Disgusting Secret Animal Ingredients


We all know humans are disgusting in the way they abuse animals for their bodies, but these disgusting secret animal ingredients really take it too far. From crushed beetles to fish scales, make sure you keep far far away from all of these products!


Mmm, female cochineal insects, yum! First, these innocent bugs are killed by being submerged in boiling water or exposure to extreme heat. Them, they are dried, their abdomen extracted and they are cooked at high temperatures.

And why is all of this necessary? So we can get red colourant for food and drinks. Aren’t humans simply the worst?

Duck Feathers

white duck

Yes, apparently we’ve even found a use for the feathers of poor animals. Known as L-cysteine, it’s a common flavour enhancer and dough conditioner. It is often found in bakery products such as bagels and bread.

McDonald’s has confirmed that it uses L-cysteine in its pies and rolls. Wow. How to make a disgusting brand even grosser, lesson 101.

Beaver Anus (Castoreum)


This sounds like some kind of childish rumour, but in fact beaver anus is used in many products. As it oddly gives off a vanilla smell, it is used in many perfumes, along with medicinal and food use.

What’s worst is that it’s labelled as a ‘natural flavouring’, however is less likely to be used in raspberry or strawberry flavouring. It is also used to contribute to the flavour of cigarettes, like you needed another reason not to smoke.


This doesn’t sound too bad does it? Oh wait, it’s dried fish bladders. How could you possibly find a use for this I hear you cry? Turns out it gives beer it’s appealing golden hue, which I didn’t realise you couldn’t create with natural ingredients.

It can also be used for making glue and jellies, so keep an eye out for this this on your list of disgusting secret animal ingredients.

Calcium triphosphate

Aka: bone char. Say no more.

It’s used to filter and colour sugar, so make sure you watch out for this before you buy any.



Don’t worry this has nothing to do with the brand of gel nail polish, this is in fact the secretions of Kerria lacca insects. Watch out for sweets and chocolate with a shiny outer shell, as well as sprinkles that often come on top of ice cream or cakes.

Why do we even need these disgusting secret animal ingredients?

Truth is, we really don’t. If we can create 3D printing then we sure as hell as a species can find a way to make sweets shiny without using insect poo and create a vanilla flavouring without beaver anus. We’re just a lazy, horrible species sometimes, and these ingredients simply remind us of that.


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